22 May 2024

MP quits ministerial role ‘to focus on local campaigns’

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has left his role as energy and net-zero minister, saying he wants to focus on local campaigns.

The MP has served in the Government for most of the past eight years, including roles at the Department for International Trade and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday, April 11, Mr Stuart wrote: “It has been an enormous privilege to serve as a minister in your government since you took office as Prime Minister in 2022, and to have served your predecessors since my appointment as a whip in 2016.

“With your support we have achieved a lot in driving the energy transition. A few weeks ago, we celebrated becoming the first major economy to halve its emissions and will, later this year, shut our last coal-fired power plant as renewables displace fossil fuels.

“Internationally we have led the climate debate, hosting COP26 and developing the Breakthrough Agenda, the Powering Past Coal Alliance, the Energy Transition Council and Just Energy Transition Partnerships to name but a few.

“Domestically I was delighted to establish and chair the Net Zero Council, the Solar Taskforce, and the Green Jobs Delivery Group as we continue our partnership with business to reach net zero in a way which strengthens our economy and protects households. The Review of Electricity Market Arrangements has refined our options to drive the transition at lowest cost.

“Officials at BEIS and now DESNZ are among the finest in the civil service, going above and beyond to ensure the UK’s energy security and decarbonisation while also delivering affordable energy. I am grateful for the first-class support they have provided me.”

Mr Stuart said he now intended to focus on serving his constituents in Beverley and Holderness, and is looking forward to the general election campaign later this year. He will now focus on local campaigns including his Make Our Roads Safer initiative, and will continue to support local campaigners in their fight against broadband poles.

Mr Stuart has also expressed a keen interest in installing defibrillators in the community through his CADEY campaign, as well as improving access to dentistry and healthcare, working with farmers on flooding and making progress on the proposed rail link between York and Hull.

He added: “I’m proud to have served in the Government for most of the past eight years, but now it’s time to focus on Beverley and Holderness.

“I’m proud to have achieved much over the past 18 years, from rock armour at Withernsea to saving East Riding Community Hospital; installing life-saving defibrillators in rural communities and slashing fares on the Humber Bridge.

“I’m looking forward to working with communities to Make Our Roads Safer, helping the council take full advantage of the opportunities brought by devolution, pressing the case for York to Hull rail and improving healthcare in Beverley and Holderness.”

His letter to the PM continued: “Having served as a minister for most of the last eight years I have decided that now is the time to stand down. I intend to continue serving my constituents in Beverley and Holderness, campaigning on local issues and look forward to fighting and winning the seat later this year.

“Under your leadership the UK is at near full employment, has inflation falling fast and is set to go from strength to strength in the coming years. I will continue to give you my full support from the backbenches and will be forever grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve as a member of your ministerial team.”